Private Investigations and Personal Security/Marc-burden of being a alpha and how to deal
Marc.First of all,thank you so very very very much for your wonderful information on nononsenseselfdefense.com.It's helped me to navigate through alot of life issues,given me clarity on problems I was having trouble solving,and it's honest/real.Anyhow-my question.I've learned what it truly means to be alpha and to take care of others.It is an incredible burden.And i'm just wondering how to properly deal with such a burden or if I should even try to at all.I'm currently in a situation where i've been elected the leader,by default,due to my integrity and trustworthiness along with my courage to take more action than anyone around me.I really don't want this role though deep down inside.But I know that if I step down,there's truly people around me who might end up dying/giving up on life.The voice in my head tells me that it's their problem and that I can't save them,only they can save themselves,so i'm wasting my time trying.That i'm keeping them from solving their problems by taking care of them.And that I could do so much more in life if I just let them go and never looked back.But at the same time I care so much about them and I really seem to be helping them an incredible amount.Guess you could say i'm conflicted here.The stress of it all is giving me headaches too.I seem to have taken on a pair of shoes that are just way too big for my small feet.I'm not this selfless.These people need me,but at the same time there's a gnawing hunger inside to just escape and stop worrying about others problems and just take responsibility for myself.Any advice?
The other night a friend showed me a teaching tool about this very thing. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a penny and a quarter. He held the penny in his palm, heads up and said. "This side represents all the perks and benefits you want." Then he turned the coin over and said, this side represents all the responsibilities you get for having those." Then he picked up the quarter in the same way and said "Same thing, here you have more perks. Except the more bennies you get the more responsibilities you get."
What you are asking is basically a variation of an eternal struggle. What we call the 'Monkey' ( http://www.conflictcommunications.com/
)wanting benefits (one side) without the other side of the coin. It's usually the benefits that make people reach for the bigger coin. The responsibility comes with. Using our best Admrial Ackbar/Star Wars voice we often joke about this as "It's a trap!"
Except in this case it sounds like you didn't want either the benefits or the responsibilities.
But you need to recognize something, that coin is necessary. The benefits/responsibilities of leadership is a fundamental human mechanism.
Human are social primates and when we live in groups there are certain issues that MUST be addressed. Given a lifetime, these issues WILL arise. How they are addressed in a 'group' basically gives us culture. When we are young, the benefits really appeal. Responsibilities? Pfffffft! Someone else's job. When we get older we realize the responsibilities are -- like it or not -- ours. We're the ones that make it happen.
It sounds like the little bluebird of "Awww fuck I don't wanna have to do this shit" came and landed on your shoulder early.
So you have a choice, you could
A) Spend your entire life trying to run from it. (Good luck with that one, Buckaroo)
B) Change your 'definition' of leadership
In doing B, you reduce your stress, keep getting things done that needs to be done, discover the bennies that make it worth while, become both a better leader and a better manager (not the same thing), share the burden of keeping things going with others and quite driving yourself nuts.
The thing is it's a lot about 'roles.' Roles and letting other people have power to do those jobs.
A leader is not a Priest. Although part of being a leader is being a nose wiper. A leader is not a Pleaser. Even though a big part of the job is listening, coordinating and soothing things over between people. A leader is not a dictator who proclaims, 'my way or the highway!' Although after listening to special interests and debate, a leader does choose the course of action that best benefits the group at large. A leader is not a Mommy who wipes noses, kisses boo-boos, gives treats and then, with a pat on the head sends the kid back out to play on the freeway. Nor is a leader a Janitor who cleans up other's people's messes.
I tell you this because ALL of those roles and the negatives, some people WILL try to project onto you. Their definition of a leader is 'the person who lets them keep only the benefit side of the coin.' Their attitude is: He'll take care of the responsibility side, while we do the same stupid shit over and over again.
Do NOT let this happen. You'll burn out.
Share the wealth. Who is the priest? (the one who listens to confessions?) Who is the drill sargeant? (The ass kicker) Who are the fixers? (technical guys) Who are the medics? (fix that boo boo) Who are the detail people? (people who great at details but not so hot at seeing the bigger picture?) Much of a leader's job isn't doing these things themselves, it's sending folks who need these services to that person.
It's making sure that the people who do those 'jobs,' have what they need to get them done. Fixer needs what? Makes sure he has it OR something that he can use to jury rig it for the moment. Medic says someone needs this, get it. Or approve it so someone else can get it for him.
It's also making sure that they don't burn out. You got a guy who is always running to the Priest or the Leader expecting someone else to clean up his mess? Send the Drill Sargeant after him (or hell set the entire group on making sure he meets the standards).
Leadership is NOT you
doing everything. It's a large part of making sure things get done by knowing who to parse things out to -- and doing that. Then hanging back, but making sure it gets done one way or the other (i.e. don't micromanage).
My best advice to you is to get a hold on management books and leadership books (again, the two are not the same) managers are great on details, but often short on people skills. Leaders are often the exact opposite. That's why you need two people doing two different jobs. Don't try to do it all yourself, know who to delegate to and then delegate, delegate, delegate. But know that even after delegating, the responsibility of getting it done, still rests with you. That's the fine balance of leadership.